Lubbock ISD backs bill allowing individual graduation committees

Lubbock ISD backs bill allowing individual graduation committees

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Senate Bill 213 gives students who otherwise would not graduate, an alternative route. The proposal will be an extension of a bill filed by State Senator Kel Seliger from Amarillo back in 2015.

It gives students who fail one or two state mandated exams another chance. 

"We don't want to see students drop out of high school simply because they can't pass a test," Clinton Gill with The Texas State Teachers Association said.

Gill said this is something teachers across the state are behind.

"We long advocated that we need to have multiple measures in place to show that a student is prepared and ready to graduate or move to the next grade," Gill said. 

If a student cannot pass one or two of the five subjects tested, they will then be referred to a graduating committee. Doyle Vogler is an associate superintendent for Lubbock ISD. 

He said it consists of the teacher for the subject failed, and the department chair. 

"We actually form a plan for that student that Summer to for the student to go through a pathway and actually work on the objectives that they missed the most of in the actual tests," Vogler said. "So we fill in the gaps so to speak."

Vogler said each plan is unique to the student.

"You look at the entire students academic DNA," Vogler said.  "Not just one data point. I can't stress that enough, It's about the whole child, not just one test." 

The first year it was written into law, Lubbock ISD only had aw eek to put the committees together. That year 35 kids who would not have graduated, successfully completed their alternative program.

"We're right at 65 to 70 right now and we're consistently stay at that number," Vogler said. 

Both Vogler and Gill agree, it is a bill that should be made permanent. 

"It needs to be passed very quickly and allow school district to continue this as well for students in need," Gill said. 

The students that complete the pathway receive their diploma in August. If passed, it will be the 5th academic year in place. Session starts January 8th. 

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